Barney and Robin have grown overly comfortable in their relationship. Robin's let herself go, and Barney's grown a little pot belly (although they look much rougher in Saget!Ted's memory than in actuality). Worse, Barney has relinquished all his porn. When Ted "accidentally" watches one of the recordings, he finds a home video Barney made, in which he tells Ted that since he's viewing the video, he (Barney) is either dead or stuck in a relationship. If it's the latter, video-Barney pleads with viewer-Ted to break it up. Ted convinces Marshall to help, but their plans go way, way wrong. Marshall says it's time to "Unleash the Kraken." That's right, they turn to Lily. She cooks up a complicated plan meant to revive the overly-comfy couple's worst four arguments at once, and enlists Alan Thicke's help, to boot.
As the gang stakes out Barney and Robin, they think they've been spotted. Marshall and Ted want to abort the mission, but Lily must see her masterpiece in action. She sends all its working parts, including Thicke, flying at Robin and Barney, but as she and the guys watch from their rented station wagon (the expense of a van is a large point of contention) they see Barney and Robin walk away from Lily's masterpiece, only to kiss. Lily wonders what she was even thinking trying to break up Robin and Barney, and everyone realizes they must really be in love.
EXCEPT... they're not. Well they are, but they're miserable. However, they never spotted Lily, Ted and Marshall. They didn't even get shaken up by Lily's masterpiece. In fact, they never even spotted the gang on stake out. They just got a look at their own reflections in the restaurant window and came to terms with their unhappiness. They decide to break up, but since they still love each other, they don't know how to deal until Robin suggests that they look at it as two friends reuniting as friends. Later, a re-beautified Robin finds the gang at MacLaren's and catches them up on things. And a re-slinkified Barney saunters into the bar, eyes all the women (who eye him back), winks and purrs, "Daddy's home."
I'll catch you on the flipside with the full weecap, including the best end tag in a long time, and all the silly and sad details. In the meantime, come on over to the forums and drown your sorrows.
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Usually, I save my analysis for the end, but I just have to get this off my chest. Regardless of the fact that it was well done, this episode left me depressed as all get out. I mean, it took an hour-long dose of Eddie Izzard to burn off my funk. And the thing is, here's the thing: well, wait, there's more than one thing. 1.) I did want to see Barney and Robin together. 2.) My enjoyment of the series didn't hinge on Barney and Robin being together. 3.) I hate how they were put together AND how they were broken apart. A vague disclaimer is nobody's friend. --Willow. Oh and **SPOILERS** that's what this episode is -- the BIG BREAK-UP. Which would be cool, if it had been cool, but it wasn't, so I don't think it is. AAaaaaaaaaaanyhow... My point is that grading it was a bitch. I mean, granted, I do pull my episode grades straight out of my ass, but this one took a lot of pulling. And since I've committed it to pixels in my draft, I've changed my mind a million times, but in the end, I decided to go with the C+. It probably deserved better, BUT... it left me feeling low, and to me, a sitcom's purpose is to... you know, take the weight off. So. And in conclusion? There. That said, I didn't hate it or anything, so read on...
We actually see Ted's kids in 2030 in this one, which is a plus. Hey, kids! The daughter looks a little different, though. Saget!Ted tells the kids that "Uncle Barney" has always had strong opinions on relationships, while we flash back to 2008. At MacLaren's, Ted introduces a busty beauty to the gang, and Barney tries to parse the word girlfriend, and fails on purpose. "Do not humanize the enemy, Ted." Robin looks on and laughs. By the fall of 2009, Barney is turning over his porn collection to Ted at the apartment. Robin, Lily and Marshall are also present, as is Barney's new friend -- his relationship gut. It's just a pot belly, really. Marshall calls him out on having "relationship gut," but then gets in trouble with Lily for miming how fat she's been at times. Funny, considering the lengths to which the series went last season to hide Alyson and Cobie's pregnancy bellies. And you know, I'd vowed to myself not to mention this since he fixed the hair issue, but Jason Segel's Marshall has been looking none too svelte these days, either. I'm just sayin'...